Cleveland Firefighters Memorial rededicated on St. Patrick’s Day

CLEVELAND - On a clear St. Patrick's Day the annual service to remember fallen firefighters had an extra special purpose Sunday.

It also served as a re-dedication of the Cleveland Firefighters Memorial next to First Energy Stadium.

The restoration process on the memorial took about six months.

"Through generous donations of the firefighters and the late Sam Miller, we collected over $50,000 to do repairs and restore the memorial," said Thomas McGinty, the president of the Cleveland Firefighters Shamrock Club.

Miller, the long time co-chair of Forest City Enterprises was known in part for his charitable giving. He passed away less then two weeks ago at the age of 97.

The re-dedication accompanied a ceremony that included bagpipes, and the reading of the names of the 77 firefighters who've lost their lives while serving Cleveland since 1863.

The weather down by the lake front had taken its toll on the memorial, with cracks showing in the arms of the firefighters depicted.

A Copley-based company, Thomarios, completed the project. The work was overseen by ICA Art Conservation Group.

The president of the Firefighters Memorial said the hope is that the restoration will last a long time.

"We're talking 20, 30 years," said Capt. Brian Degardeyn.

On this day, it was just good to see the memorial back where it belongs.

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